It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person of a certain book love must be in want of more books.
It is another truth that sometimes two of the aforementioned people will marry each other and have to buy a new bookshelf every six months to keep up with their addictions.
That’s us. Boy, do we love bookstores [see not at bottom about bookstores, all ye scoffers]. James and I used to go on dates where we would just chill out in bookstores while each perused our own guilty book pleasure: survival books or new history narratives (James), or anything having to do with the Romanov family and Anastasia conspiracies (me).
There are the nice bookstores — the fancy ones, the ones that have Starbucks coffee shops inside, plush chairs, and shiny new books. And then there are the used bookstores, the ones that exude personality and attract book hoarders and lovers alike.
Among this second type is Capitol Hill Books.
What it is: Super quirky used bookstore in Eastern Market known for its cramped conditions, awesome collections, eccentric owner and hysterical signs.
Where it is: 657 C Street SE
Why you should be excited: If you are claustrophobic, you probably shouldn’t be excited. But if you grew up getting goose bumps at this scene from Beauty and the Beast (go ahead and watch it… though I should give the disclaimer that Capitol Hill books is much less spacious.), then you will probably love being tucked away in the stacks of books and finding treasures. Plus, the no-frills signage (ie, Sharpie and index cards) and the posters that forbid, cell phones, back packs, etc. are a nice relief from fancy book stores. In this store, you are constantly reminded of your utter inferiority when compared to books. You are not smarter than them, you are not above them, and they do not need you. Nothing like being put in your place by a bunch on inanimate objects.
Any other bookstores you love in DC? Please share!
Note: If you think that we don’t need bookstores anymore because we can just download things, I suggest you read this article and watch this video (or watch it here with French subtitles and better resolution… if you are in the Cool Club.)